Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Conferencing with Teachers

I am in what I would consider a unique situation. I helped open a school as an assistant principal later after the first year was completed I moved to another school. Fast forward two years and was given the opportunity to return as principal. I have enjoyed reconnecting with the teachers and faculty.
Christmas/Holiday break arrived and allowed me time to reflect over the first semester. The end result of reflecting, I knew the staff and faculty but we had all grown, developed, and situations had changed in the two years I was away. Upon our return to the second half of the year I set out to conference with each teacher during their conference period. I will complete this expedition in the next few days. I can not begin to describe how well these meetings have gone. I've learned more about these people in the 25 minutes of conference times than I did in an entire semester.
I chose to set the format of 4 standard questions and a statement.
  • One moment to brag of a situation from the first semester
  • Their strengths perceived by them
  • How the like to be praised/recognized
  • Professional and personal goals
  • How can I help them reach these goals
I found a very humble group of teachers who struggled with bragging, knew their strengths and weaknesses. Struggled a little with how to be recognized, addressed their weaknesses through goals and had plans to accomplish them.

The area where I became deeply surprised was in the area of professional development. Our district provides intensive technology trainings but teachers were not applying the knowledge in the classroom. We will set out from these meetings with a task per month for products utilizing the technology focuses.

I am discovering what "Building Leadership Capacity in my school" means to me. My first goal was to lay the foundation of knowledge who was strong enough in various areas to lead from within the grade levels. I found a plethora of knowledge hidden behind barriers of concern or lack of confidence. It is very interesting to me teachers are comfortable leading students all day but leading their peers frightens some. I also found future leaders waiting for the opportunity to take on new challenges and new positions if the situation arises. The structure is in place for a community of life long learners to be successful for many years to come. I feel fortunate to be in the position I am with the school.

Great teachers, great students, and great parents lead to Great School.

This week has been very busy with the conferences but I believe will pay huge dividends in relationships. 30 complete 14 more.

Howell Out

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